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Since 1st March, 1999
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Siblings say it with sweets
- Rise in festive sales despite price hike

On Bhai Phonta, it’s sweet surrender.

Sweet shops across town dished out their best fare on Monday as sisters went mishti shopping to indulge their brothers’ sweet tooth. On this day, traditional favourites like sandesh, khaja, gaja, darbesh, khirer chop and mihidana rubbed shoulders with special Bhai Phonta delicacies on the racks.

“Every year on Bhai Phonta we make some new sweets. This year’s specials were Jayanti, a four-coloured sweet that blends saffron, pistachio, strawberry and chocolate; Parama, a pista and saffron-flavoured sandesh; pineapple sandesh, strawberry sandesh and Bi-Bon, made from biscuits and Bournvita. Also, every year we make sita bhoger laddu on Bhai Phonta,” said Sandip Sen of Sen Mahasay.

If Sen Mahasay added to their menu for Bhai Phonta, Girish Chandra Dey and Nakur Chandra Nandy got ready to churn out their all-time favourites in greater quantities to meet the spurt in demand. “Sandesh is compulsory on any occasion and Parijat is a pop pick. Also we start making gurer mishti from Kali puja, so gurer jol bhora and gurer jumbo jol bhora are very popular on Bhai Phonta,” said Pranab Nandy.

At K.C. Das, rosogollas are a must buy. “Other Bhai Phonta favourites include Rasamalancha, a malpua with kheer and sandesh filling and a special sandesh with Bhai Phonta written on it,” said Manjulika Das, one of the directors.

The favourites at Bhim Chandra Nag include Shankuntala, made with kaju and saffron especially for Bhai Phonta, and regulars like Dilkhush, Rose Cream and jol bhora.

Did price play a spoilsport this festive season?

“Durga puja, Lakshmi puja, Kali puja and Bhai Phonta always see a good demand and this year was no different,” said Das. Agreed Sen. “Everyone asks for bigger sweets on Bhai Phonta. Price is not a factor,” smiled Sen, whose shop hiked prices by 10 to 15 per cent before Puja.

Other sweet shops had also revised prices in the festive season citing the rise in the price of sugar, milk and other ingredients. Girish Chandra Dey and Nakur Chandra Nandy hiked their rates two days before Bhai Phonta by Rs 20 per kg. At K.C. Das, prices were increased by a rupee or two per piece from October.

The sweet makers, were, however, confident that recession or price rise, Calcutta would not keep away from sweets. And the city proved them right. Nandy said the store had seen at least 5 per cent rise in sales compared with last Bhai Phonta. Sen was yet to compile figures but said that the demand was more than last year, while Bhim Chandra Nag saw around 10 per cent rise in sales.

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